Encapsulation ability: Are all Drosophila species equally armed? An investigation in the obscura group

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Abstract:

Unable to form cellular capsules around large foreign bodies, the species Drosophila subobscura Collin in Gordon, 1936 was previously shown devoid of lamellocytes, the capsule-forming hemocytes in Drosophila melanogaster Meigen, 1830. This unusual case of deficiency in encapsulation ability was remarkable enough to motivate further investigations in phylogenetically related species of the obscura group. Like D. subobscura, the species Drosophila azteca Sturtevant and Dobzhansky, 1936, Drosophila bifasciata Pomini, 1940, Drosophila guanche Monclus, 1976, Drosophila miranda Dobzhansky, 1935, Drosophila persimilis Dobzhansky and Epling, 1944, and Drosophila pseudoobcura Frovola and Astaurov, 1929 were found to be unable to encapsulate large foreign bodies and also to lack lamellocytes. Surprisingly, Drosophila affinis Sturtevant, 1916, Drosophila tolteca Patterson and Mainland, 1944, and Drosophila obscura Fallen, 1823 were capable of mounting cellular capsules, although their encapsulation abilities remained weak. These three species were free of lamellocytes but possessed small pools of never before described “atypical hemocytes” present in the hemolymph when capsules were formed.

Incapable de former des capsules autour de corps étrangers de grande taille, l’espèce Drosophila subobscura Collin in Gordon, 1936 a été précédemment décrite comme dépourvue de lamellocytes, les hémocytes responsables de la formation de capsules chez Drosophila melanogaster Meigen, 1830. Ce cas insolite de déficience de la capacité d’encapsulement est suffisamment remarquable pour motiver une étude plus approfondie des espèces phylogénétiquement proches appartenant au groupe obscura. Comme D. subobscura, les espèces Drosophila azteca Sturtevant et Dobzhansky, 1936, Drosophila bifasciata Pomini, 1940, Drosophila guanche Monclus, 1976, Drosophila miranda Dobzhansky, 1935, Drosophila persimilis Dobzhansky et Epling, 1944 et Drosophila pseudoobcura Frovola et Astaurov, 1929 se sont avérées incapables d’encapsuler des corps étrangers volumineux et sont également démunies de lamellocytes. En revanche, de manière surprenante, Drosophila affinis Sturtevant, 1916, Drosophila tolteca Patterson et Mainland, 1944 et Drosophila obscura Fallen, 1823 se sont révélées aptes à former des capsules, bien que de façon limitée. Ces trois espèces sont dépourvues de lamellocytes, mais possèdent d’autres formes inédites d’hémocytes dits « atypiques » dont la présence dans l’hémolymphe est systématiquement associée à la formation de capsules.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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